Jeff Schultz

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not

Predictions: Falcons win, Jackets lose, Goodell cowers


Before continuing with our investment season, which has been quite profitable if you discount the last three weeks and 35 picks and the fact it's really hard to handicap NFL games when you're not sure which team has more players in leg chains and how many times the invertebrate commissioner is going to stick his finger in the air (editors made me type "air"; my mind was thinking somewhere else), here's this week's legal update:

Roger Goodell has placed three highly paid dunderheads on the NFL's double-secret Exempt/Commissioner's Permission List, which almost nobody knew even existed until about 10 minutes ago, possibly because it didn't. And even if it did, nobody cared because all of the league's potential convicts who were backups got cut, anyway, while the star future convicts played after sitting out a half -- oh wait, that's only in college --  because there weren't 100 million people on Twitter screaming, "Hey! Wait a minute!" (Sometimes they use worse words. I refer you back to the possible location of Roger Goodell's finger.)

This is now standard issue at NFL training camps.

That's really what this comes down to. Goodell and NFL owners aren't benching players because they have suddenly located their conscience. Consumers screamed. Advertisers freaked. Suits got wrinkled. Now the league has a Pro Bowl team to go against the guards.

No worries. The NFL will figure out some way to make money off of this. Probably an expansion franchise in Leavenworth.

Hey, Ray Lewis has always wanted to get into management.

Actually, this NFL's Exempt/Commissioner's Permission List is a great deal for the dunderheads. They get to sit on a couch and still draw a salary.

I propose the Journal-Constitution start an Exempt/Editor's Permission List. I surely qualify after picking the Falcons to beat Cincinnati.

I need a break from civilization. Let's go to Blacksburg. (Transition.)

Georgia Tech is 3-0. But the Yellow Jackets have been kind of shaky in three non-conference games and this is some really bad timing going to Virginia Tech. VaTech beat Ohio State by two touchdowns in Columbus, then came home and lost to East Carolina. Even if the Hokies aren't a great team, they'll be irritated, grounded and focused.

The Jackets have played the Hokies close under Paul Johnson but they're 1-5 against them. Nothing about escapes against Tulane and Georgia Southern scream this team is ready for this. Jackets lose and the Poultry covers 8.

Somebody needs to cover this for Super Bowl Halftime Show

SCHOOL DAZE

Troy at Georgia: OK, Mike Bobo should’ve had Todd Gurley carry the ball. I get it. But Georgia scored more points in Columbia (35) than it had since 1920 and still lost (38-35). I like Jeremy Pruitt but the torches and pitchforks were outside the wrong coordinator’s house last week. No matter: This is stuff-a-Sun-Belt-team-in-a-locker week: Georgia covers 40½.

Florida at Alabama: Florida took three overtimes to beat Kentucky but received 72 votes in this week’s coaches’ poll, which tells me that either coaches aren’t smarter than sportswriters (duh) or Will Muschamp has been mailing a lot of fruit baskets. Tide covers 14½.

Clemson at Florida State Univ. of Perpetual Enabling: At least now we know where FSU draws the line on stupidity. Jameis Winston followed up recent sexual assault allegations by standing on a table in the middle of campus and shouting something so profane that I can’t even use abbreviations. He has been suspended for the first half. He would’ve been suspended both halves but it’s a conference game. Seminoles win but take Clemson and 17.

Louisville at Florida-Int'l-HOP: Congrats to Bobby Petrino and Todd Grantham for bringing the Cardinals to a level they’ve never been before: They lost to Virginia. I’ll dance with FIU and 27.

Mississippi State at LSU: Dan Mullen theoretically could make it to a bowl with wins over Southern Miss (done), UAB (done), South Alabama (done), UT Martin, Kentucky and Vanderbilt. But that won’t help him the next three weeks: LSU, Texas A&M, Auburn. Forecast: pain. Tigers cover 9½.

Clubber Lang on Mississippi State

South Carolina at Vanderbilt: Steve Spurrier: “Vandy can beat us.” Has he ever said that before a Georgia game? Gamecocks cover 21½.

Georgia State at Washington: The opening sentence of an actual story about the Panthers: “You’re not alone if you’ve never heard of Georgia State University or didn’t know the school had a football team.” Here's the good news. The story appeared in Seattle, not Atlanta. The realistic objective in this game: escape with all major organs intact and collect the $900,000 payoff for socks and bandaids. Huskies cover 35½.

NFL SNACK PACK

(Buy Two Games, Get a Free Criminal Defense Attorney)

Falcons' defense lines up for another play.

Bucs at Falcons (tonight): The defense has allowed 944 yards and 61 points in two games. Milk bottles in a carnival game have put up a bigger fight. Meanwhile, defensive coordinator Mike Nolan reportedly is making wonderful progress at the Daisy Hill Gentle Windchimes and Serenity House and is expected to return to the team sometime after Week 7, assuming he wants to. Don’t know why, but: Falcons cover 6½.

Vikings at Saints: Minnesota’s Super Bowl odds in Las Vegas went from 50-1 to 100-1 after sitting a certain running back. You know that saying in the stock market: Buy low, sell high? Doesn’t apply here. Saints cover 10½.

Redskins at Eagles: Washington doesn’t have a player on the NFL’s double-secret inactive list but it does have receiver DeSean Jackson, who was released by Philly because the Eagles thought he had too many friends in gangs. Strange. Suddenly that doesn’t seem so bad. Eagles cover 6½.

Packers at Lions: A lot of folks have jumped on the Lions’ bandwagon. That’s generally when it’s a good idea to jump off. Actual factuals: Matthew Stafford is 1-6 vs. Packers with 14 interceptions. Aaron Rodgers is 9-1 vs. Lions with 19 touchdowns. Waiter? Check. Take the 2 and Packers straight up.

49ers at Cardinals: The NFL fined Colin Kaepernick $11,025 for using inappropriate language. He must’ve called his ownership classy. Meanwhile, 49ers legends Jerry Rice, Steve Young and Ronnie Lott have all spoken against the team’s decision to play accused domestic violence blockhead Ray McDonald, which illustrates the difference between the franchise in this era and the 1980s better than I ever could. But: Niners cover 3.

SCORECARD (avert your eyes)

Don't jump ship yet, profits ahead.

“There are many lessons to be learned from the gambling experience, but the harshest one of all is the difference between having fun and being smart.” – Hunter S. Thompson

Last week (just putrid): 4-6 straight up, 2-8 against the line.

So far, so yech: 26-9 straight up, 14-21 against the line.

Lilly’s Pick: Lilly (2-1) angered UGA fans by picking South Carolina last week, but she won. She’s been cocky all week. This week, we cheese’d pictures of two mascots, GaTech's Buzz and VaTech's HokieBird. Lilly went with an upset: The Buzz cheese was gobbled first.

Sack Schultz update: I’m going in the wrong direction, from 14 to 11 to 9 wins in 3 weeks. Ranking: 148 out of 4,336 entries. Last week’s winners were Frances Dye (Waycross) and Brian McNeill (Oklahoma City). For a chance to win prizes, enter at ajc.com/go/sackschultz2014.

Lilly nailed South Carolina pick last week. This week, she has Georgia Tech.


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About the Author

Jeff Schultz is a general sports columnist and blogger who isn't afraid to share his opinion, which may not necessarily jibe with yours.